Love’s tricky. In my personal experience, it’s fickle, complicated, full of ups and downs, frustrating, exhilarating, highest highs, lowest lows, and takes a LOT of work. True love lasts, and fleeting, I-thought-you-were-the-one-but-where’d-you-go love is a flash in the pan. We’re told to wait for love to find us, but then we’re told we have to coax it along by putting ourselves “out there”. Flirt, but don’t show all your cards. Don’t call him, let him chase. But don’t be too hard-to-get. Guard your heart, don’t show emotions, but don’t be too closed off. Keep him hooked, but don’t try too hard.
Oh. my. word.
My serious relationships have been a tough bunch. Some people can look back on their past and say they’re still friends with their exes, and that just isn’t the case for me. But it’s perfectly okay. I’ve talked about seasons of life multiple times, and the same rings true for past relationships; they served a purpose for a season, but they were never meant for the long haul. What I needed then is very different from what I need in my life now. The person they knew then is no longer the woman I have become.
The funny thing is, no matter how well you “play your cards” and don’t “give away the milk for free” (I hate that phrase so much!), sometimes it literally isn’t you. You can do everything “right” in a relationship and follow all the confusing advice, and still end up with a broken heart or with a disappointing ending.
When two people decide to do life together, you are trying to connect two separate souls, minds, and lives…and all that well-intended advice won’t give you the power to bend someone else’s will to your own. Sometimes, it’s really just not meant to be. And if you find yourself stepping back and doing some self-reflecting, you may just discover the opportunity to grow.
Now that I’m in my “late” 20s and still single, I more frequently hear, “How are you trying to meet Mr. Right?” from very well-meaning older women or married friends. “Why don’t you…” go out to bars more often, get involved at a church, volunteer somewhere, join a gym, go to more events, set up a profile on a dating website…
And quite frankly, I don’t need or want the advice on how to meet this “Mr. Right.” It’s very possible that I might not be ready to meet him! Or vice versa. But I’m using this time intentionally to grow and learn more about myself before I ever say “I do”. To become perfectly content in who I am and being complete in myself and in Christ.
I think the very worst thing we ever do is latch onto, and expect, the other person to fill our needs. That is always a dead-end and heartbreaking road to travel on. It confuses us, makes us question ourselves, and constantly trying to change for someone else is exhausting. Having a partner doesn’t fill the emptiness inside- in fact, it only makes it worse.
But it’s a beautiful thing when two complete people come together to create one complete life in Jesus. When their fulfillment is already in God, there is a strength, a perseverance through life’s hardships, and a lasting, real love.
So, wherever he is, whoever he is, I know that God will bring us together at the right time. I don’t need to go looking- there’s already a beautiful love story unfolding throughout my life, and God is writing it exactly the way it should be. My job is just to trust, and keep eagerly turning the pages.